Have you ever wondered what it might be like to work full-time while being a full-time college student? To give you some insight, we asked a SEMO student to share their experience!

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"Hi Redhawks! My name is Carson and I am a student at Southeast Missouri State University. I’m majoring in English with a minor in small press publishing. I also happen to be working full-time. At a glance, my schedule looks overwhelming, and at times, it can be. To stay on top of my responsibilities, I’ve found that learning how to balance everything, and doing this early on, is key.

I have two jobs this semester and work about 55 hours a week. I’m also currently enrolled in 18 hours of coursework. To make sure I get everything done that I need to each day, I use my planner. Every day, I schedule out my tasks to ensure nothing is missed. Using a planner allows me to look at my week as a whole and helps me prioritize my duties. I also use the “Reminders” app on my phone. Having another tool that sends me notifications about my tasks is perfect so I don’t forget anything.

Working from home makes it easy to get distracted, which is why it’s important to develop a routine. I try to wake up around the same time every morning, take a lunch break, and try to avoid having Netflix on in the background (but let’s be honest, some days it just happens). In fact, taking breaks is a key part to maintaining your routine and your mental health. At the same time each day, I stop working just like I would in an office. I stop checking emails, and I allow myself to work on homework, clean my apartment, cook dinner, or do other normal daily activities. If you’re constantly making yourself available to work, you’re going to burn out quickly.

Prioritizing your mental and physical health is essential to staying successful as you work full time and go to school.

Another tip for anyone considering working full-time and going to school is to make use of the random minutes throughout your day. If your computer decides to randomly update and you know that’s going to take 15 minutes, do some reading for one of your classes. If your lunch needs thirty minutes in the oven, get a jump start on a paper, or get that forum post out of the way. These minutes can be easily lost and at the end of a day, you can find yourself feeling like you don’t have enough time. If you start taking advantage of this time, though, you’ll be surprised at how much more you can accomplish.

Working full-time and being a student is a big commitment, but it isn’t impossible to do. Make sure you stay organized, take breaks, and take care of yourself!"